Becoming a mother, finding balance and juggling all the roles that come with motherhood, is no easy task.
Add to that the different attitudes towards working mothers in the East and the West and it adds to the pressure. Why I differentiate, is due to the change in attitudes during the last two generations towards a working mom in South East Asia.
Has it become easier? Somewhat. Has it become acceptable? For sure! Yet the Eastern woman is still expected to play the part of a mother and homemaker 100% without breaking a stride, while trying to juggling the aim to study further, or further a career.
I too was politely told by hubby in the ‘engagement period’, to be a stay-at-home homemaker. Somehow, the move abroad, with a delayed arrival of a baby, led me to step out and start a career despite all his qualms. Was it easy? Not at all! I was supposed to be 100% both at home and outside!
Fast forward 14 years, I am still working freelance, and still studying. I now have three kids to boot as well as a house to run. And of course the rules of the game have been changed!
Today I want to share with you some of the tricks that have worked for me in Juggling Motherhood and Finding Balance:
1. Set a Schedule.
I know its easier said than done, but you must have a schedule for home if you want to keep your sanity! I know its not always going to run clock-wise, but if even 50% of the plan goes as written, you will be able to get some free time! I have a set timetable for the days I will cook, clean, do outdoor chores, and so on.
2. Assign tasks to family members.
I really needed to kill my urge for perfection, and the; ‘Leave it! I will do it myself’ attitude! You need to assign small and big tasks to the kids and hubby. Don’t pester. Yet show them what is expected. In my house, I leave the dishwasher unloading to the kids. The kids must make their bed and pick their pjs before they can get breakfast. Hubby must take the kids to the activities other than school 50% of the time.
3. Plan a Girls night out!
Yes, do invest in quality outing time with gal pals! It will not only revive you, but also give you energy to keep going. Hanging out with friends once in a while is in no way neglecting your own family! Take the opportunity to invest in your own happiness!
4. Partner up with Hubby.
While it is understood that being married means being partners for life, very few couples actually explore and discuss their mutual and individual roles in making the marriage a success. I suggest talking to hubby and letting him know, when you need him more assistance from him. He should understand that your work is part of family growth, rather than a hobby. I know for many men who have not seen their mom or sisters working, they have a hard time accepting a wife who does. The best way is to keep communicating.
5. Reward yourself!
Life is hard. Especially for a woman who has to wear many hats. Give yourself a reward for getting through the week. Maybe something as simple as reading a much-awaited book, watching a movie, or running a bubble bath for yourself. All special treatments will make you ready for the adventurous challenges ahead!
6. Be Clear on what YOU want!
Sometimes I see women running exhausted and not being happy with their professional or personal life. This is a red flag to know that you need to figure out what you really want. Maybe your own mom was a stay-at-home full time parent? Maybe despite all your brilliance, you crave that kind of life style. Know what you really want to do. Don’t run after another person’s dream!
In the end, once you start on the path that you seek, you do get to the destination in mind. The travel may seem tough, but in the end it seems so worthwhile of the hardships along the way!
So what are some of your survival tricks while juggling motherhood and a work life?